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Isaiah 52-57


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year

        Isaiah 52 presents the promise of God's redemption appears in dramatic form.  Awake!...Shake off the dust!...Free yourself!  Then God reminds His people just as easily as He could bring judgment upon them, so He can bring redemption:  You were sold for nothing and without money you will be redeemed.  As always, a primary consideration in God's action is a concern for the His own reputation:  All day long my name is constantly blasphemed.  Therefore.... in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it.      
        The picture in Isaiah 52 of those who bring good news is the Old Testament background to the New Testament concept of evangelism (bringing good news).
        Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is the longest of the Servant Songs.  It is the key passage in the second half of the book (chapters 40-66).  Composed of five stanzas, each of which is made up of three verses in English, excerpts from this Old Testament passage are more often quoted in the New Testament than any other.  As you read through the verses, notice how much of the prophesy is obviously fulfilled in Christ.
        In chapter 54, Israel’s situation is compared to that of a childless woman who discovers she’s pregnant:  so it will be for God's People when they finally return from exile.  God's restatement of His love is powerful:  Though the mountains be shaken and  the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken... (54:10). 
        Chapter 55 is another passage quoted by Jesus (see John 4:14; 7:37).  The reminder Israel's foolishness (Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy, verse 2) calls the people back to God's original offer through Isaiah (1:18) which is rephrased here in verses 2-3.  The marvel of God's redemption will cause even the inanimate objects (mountains and hills . . . trees of the fields) to respond bursting into song . . . clapping their hands.
        Chapters 56-57 makes clear God's intention to reach all people through His Servant.  Previously, non-Israelites had been excluded from official worship in the Temple and elsewhere (see Exodus 12:43 & Deuteronomy 23:3, 7-8).  Now the Servant of God will remove such barriers (see Isaiah 49:19-20; 54:17: 60:10) as the LORD says in 56:5:  to them I will give . . .  a memorial and a name . . . . that I will not cut off.
        Have you ever been in a hopeless position?  Did you know there is only one such position possible:  intentionally rejecting God and attempting to run and control your own life.  We may fail, look and be foolish, loose our material prosperity (or never attain any) or even find ourselves rejected by all those around us; however, if God is a part of our life, as Paul says in Romans 8:31, what can stand successfully against us?  If we are willing to consider His offer in Isaiah 1:18, Come, let us reason together. . . then there is hope for us.
        Today, remember the intensity and determination in God's love for you.  He not only prophesied a Savior, He sent Jesus Christ and in Him we always have both security and hope .
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010